Thursday, July 30, 2009

David Lloyd Signing!



I'm VERY excited! Don't forget the BIG David Lloyd signing is THIS Saturday, August 1st at the Frankfort and Calumet City Amazing Fantasy locations! David is really cool guy. I went and picked him and his friend up at the airport last night, I'm such a lucky girl! (And thanks Chris!) David is enjoying the wonderful city of Chicago until the signing on Saturday. He will be here at my store in Frankfort from 11am-2pm: Amazing Fantasy 20523 S. La Grange Rd. Frankfort IL 60423, 815-469-5092. He will also be signing at the Calumet City A/F from 4pm-6pm on Saturday. Bring in any of his books you might own and he will gladly sign them for you! If you pick up a copy of any of his collected works at the shop, he will do a free sketch inside one of those books for free (time permitting of course)! I'm sure most of you already own V for Vendetta, but if you don't this would be the perfect opportunity to pick up a copy of the collected edition for him to personalize TO YOU. David has worked on a variety of other projects over the years, besides the aforementioned V, he also did some great work on Hellblazer, a fun series by Jamie Delano collected at Dark Horse into hardcover called The Territory, AND the book that I would highly recommend that you pick up is KICKBACK. A very cool gritty noir-thriller that David wrote as well as producing the wonderful artwork. Try KICKBACK, if you like crime/noir you NEED to pick this up in hardcover for ONLY $12.95. It's a bargain! So come on it, chat with this very personable comic creator, get some books signed and maybe get a sketch! Amazing Fantasy is proud to be able to host this very special event! Come one, come all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Must Read of the Week!




The Stuff of Legend #1 published by Th3rd World Studios is a really fun read! I can't recommend this book enough! Hurry to your local Amazing Fantasy if you want a copy of the first print, I'm sure they will be gone in the blink of an eye. It will be a total of 2 issues at $4.99 a piece. Story by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III. This was probably the best book that was previewed in a FCBD comic. So much fun! This is the new Mouse Guard, and something tells me the creators and publishers were thinking that too since they released in in the same square format as Mouse Guard. It's the story of several stuffed animals that go in search of the human boy that was captured by the Boogeyman.

From the back of the book: "The year is 1944. Thousands of miles away, an allied force advances along a war-torn beach in a strange land, outnumbered and far from home. But here in a child's bedroom in Brooklyn, our heroes, a small group of toys loyal to their human master, fight an unseen war to save him from every child's worst nightmare The Boogeyman. Led by the toy soldier known as the Colonel and the boy's faithful teddy bear named Max, the toys enter the dangerous realm of The Dark. There they will face off against the Boogeyman and his army -- a legion of the boy's forgotten, bitter toys. Fighting to survive insurmountable odds, the toys will discover this is a battle not only for the soul of a child, but for their own as well."

The book has also received high praise from Brian K. Vaughan and Frank Quietly, not just me!

This is a book to watch, as well as the publisher and the creators! Can't wait for MORE Stuff of Legend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Green Lantern: First Flight hits shops today!

I managed to find the time to watch Green Lantern: First Flight and I LOVED it. Another wonderful addition to the ever growing library of direct to DVD animated features from DC. Thanks DC! The DC animated specials IMO are leaps and bounds better than the Marvel ones have been, but maybe I just like the characters better. Anyway, this Green Lantern release comes right in the middle of Green Lantern mania! Great timing on DC's part, kudos all around. It's a wonderful introduction to the Green Lantern mythos for new fans ages 13 and up. I am pleased with DC's decision to make all of their animated specials PG-13, it's appropriate for the stories they are trying to tell. Want all ages fare from the DCU? Then by all means watch Brave and the Bold and/or the various Justice League Unlimited shows available on both DVD and on the ol' TV. Like Wonder Woman, Justice League: New Frontier, and the Death of Superman animated specials that came before, Green Lantern First Flight is a top-rate animation. Voice actors are good, the animation is good and most importantly the story is good, if not great. While serving as a perfect introduction to possible new fans, it also is a wonderful tale for the Green Lantern fan of old. Who wouldn't want to watch the birth of the one of the major villains in the Green Lantern-verse: Sinestro? We've got Hal, of course, the Guardians, Sinestro as both a Green Lantern and as his more evil yellow self later in the special, Kilowag, and many other Green Lanterns we all know and love, even Ch'p the squirrel, at least I think that is his name. Could very easily be volume one in an ongoing series of Green Lantern animated specials. Hopefully we will see at least one more if not two of these before the movie hits in 2011. I would rank this as just as good as the Justice League: New Frontier special. I didn't like it as much as the Wonder Woman special, because well I just love Wonder Woman especially when she is done RIGHT for once, but Green Lantern: First Flight is a VERY GOOD animated special. Well worth the time.

Next up, DC will be giving the Animated Original Movie treatment to Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Whatever happened to the animated Teen Titans: Judas Contract they had talked about a few years back? Man I would love to see that one....

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Colonel Reviews ASM #600



Daron "The Colonel" Jensen returns with his weekly Marvel pimping.

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Amazing Spider-Man #600

The Amazing Spider-Man has reached issue #600, and Marvel’s celebrating with 104 pages of all-new stories! No reprints! Featuring the talents of Dan Slott & John Romita Jr., Stan lee & Marcos Martin, Mark Waid & Colleen Doran, Bob Gale & Mario Albreti, Marc Guggenheim & Mitch Breitweiser, Zeb Wells & Derec Donovan, and Joe Kelly & Max Fiumara! Also are Amazing Spider-Man covers you’ll never see by Jeph Loeb & Mike McKone, Ed Brubaker & Mike McKone, Matt Fraction & Mike McKone, and Brian Bendis & Klaus Janson!

Amazing #600 has everything you’d want in a Spider-Man anniversary issue. Adventure, thrills, humor, guest stars, a classic villain, a wedding, a surprise appearance, girls in bikinis, and the kitchen sink. Dr. Octopus has discovered his old girlfriend May Parker is getting married and tries to stop it, and Spider-Man can only thwart his evil plot with the help of Daredevil, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. Oh, and poor Dr. Octopus, you’ll even feel sorry for him when reading this issue…

Lots of back-up strips fill out this meaty slab of comics, including a Stan Lee written story looking over the years of Spider-Man stories, Mark Waid writes a touching story of Peter and Uncle Ben, Bob Gale tells us what it would really be like to be Spider-Man, Marc Guggenheim tells an Aunt May story of hope, love, and loss, Zeb Wells treats us to an appearance of the Spider-Mobile, and Joe Kelly unveils a preview of things to come with Madame Web.

With 104 pages of all-new material, your cost comes to less than a nickel a page. That’s value for your money, and it’s awesome! And if I had a nickel for every time I’ve said awesome today, I’d have three copies of Amazing Spider-Man #600!

-Daron “The Colonel” Jensen

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There you have it, "The Colonel" says it's worth a read and he tends to know what he's talking about when it comes to Marvel, so grab yours before they disappear from your local Amazing Fantasy location!

_

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday and Sunday at CCI 2009



So the con is wrapping up as I type this. All I can say is THANK GOD. I wasn't even there this year, but yet I still am in overload mode here at home with the sheer coverage of the event via the various news outlets. I can't possibly touch on ALL of the announcements that were made on mostly Saturday with a little bit of Sunday thrown in, but I will summarize some of the news that I found interesting.

The Guild goes to Dark Horse. The Guild is an online show from Felicia Day of Dr. Horrible's fame. The new comic based on this property will be written by her too. Fun for kids of all ages!

Sergio Aragones comes to Bart Simpsons Comics #50! Even more fun for kids of all ages!

Haunt by Kirkman and McFarlane come to Image. Yep, you read that right McFarlane is going to do some comics again, after Kirkman gave him shit publicly last year at the con for not doing enough or hardly any comics. Written by Kirkman with collaborations by Todd. Penciled by Ryan Ottley of Invincible fame, with layouts by Greg Capullo and INKED by Todd. Yes, Todd can't seem to bring himself to draw actual interior pages for this book by himself, but I think he's doing the covers and I remember reading somewhere that Todd will be (gasp) penciling the interior for Spawn #200. How much to do you want to bet that Spawn #201, #202, and #203 will come out BEFORE #200? Anyway, I'm sure Haunt will do quite well.

The BIGGEST news imo that come out of the con on Saturday was that Jim Shooter would be joining Dark Horse to helm the revision of the classic Gold Key characters that we've come to associate with Jim over the years: Magnus, Robot Fighter and Solar, Man of the Atom to name a few. I've been witnessing Dark Horse as they Archive and reprint the old Gold Key stuff in hardcover over the last few years and I remember they did a few crossovers years ago with Magnus and other licensed properties, but it never crossed my mind that they would revamp these characters yet again AND that they would bring Jim Shooter on board for it. Very interesting indeed.

Dr. Horrible comics announced for sometime in the next year from Dark Horse. Took long enough for god's sake! Can't wait! Here's hoping Joss will be writing!

Speaking of Joss, another related announcement from Dark Horse concerns everyone's favorite comedian, Patton Oswalt. He guest starred on Joss' Dollhouse TV show last year and asked if he could pen a Wash-centic/Firefly comic. Apparently this has been green lit at Dark Horse. More info soon I hope.

Zachary Quinto (new Spock) has teamed with Archaia to produce a comic book series at some point soon. Oh boy, I'm SO excited to see ANOTHER Hollywood type making their way into comics. That other guy from Heroes has tried comics at both Top Cow and Boom, I think, and they all fell flat. I expect this new Spock series to do the same, but I suppose I might be tempted to give it a shot. Archaia has had some great series, like Mouse Guard, so maybe they will encourage him to come up with something cool. I can't wait for that dog from Frasier, Eddie, to be debuting his new comic at Boom next year! Hollywood folks just LOVE playing with comics!

Max Allen Collins announced the final installment of his Perdition crime series will be coming out from Vertigo Crime soon, entitled Return to Perdition. This is actually news worthy, how about that!

IDW announced that Bill Willingham will be taking over the writing chores for Angel starting with issue #28. His exclusive contract with DC expired and just look at all this new projects! Good for Bill!

New Tank Girl comics have found a home at Image.

Geoff Johns will be, as most everyone has heard by now, executive producing and scripting the forth-coming live-action Flash movie. The fans will are SO happy to hear about this! The other Flash related news that come out is that Johns will be penning a Blackest Night: Flash mini series and after that he will indeed be the writer for the new Flash ongoing that will start up after Blackest Night wraps.

Marvel announced new all original content Amazing Spider-man web comics. Supposedly will tie directly into the thrice a month Amazing Spider-man floppy.

Boom announced they signed Coheed and Cambia's Claudio for a new comic entitled Killaudio. The kids are just going to LOVE this, as long as they still LOVE Coheed and Cambria. For the life of me, I can't figure out why they have the following that they do, BUT any way to get more youngins into comics, I will willingly support. His other ventures at various publishers, Good Apollo and Amory Wars did ok, not as well as MCR's frontman Way's Umbrella Academy, but ok.

Speaking of Way and Dark Horse he will have a new series besides the next Umbrella Academy mini-series over coming out sometime in the next year called The True Story of The Fabulous Killjoys. Art chores by Becky Cloonan. According to Way who was ALL OVER the con floor, Killjoys is basically about a guy that wants to get his Ramones records back. Sounds like a LOT of fun! Between the idea and the art, I will definitely be checking this book out!

Colorist Laura Martin signs an exclusive with Marvel! Congrats to Laura! She is one my favorite colorists. Thank the gods that she already finished coloring Planetary's final issue that will be shipping in October if the planets align accordingly.

One of the coolest announcements that probably wont' get the attention it deserves is a new project announced by one of my favorite publishers of books ABOUT comics: Two Morrows. They will of course continue their line of quality books we've come to expect from them, but they will be launching a series that all the true comic historians should purchase: American Comic Book Chronicles. One volume devoted to each decade from the 1930's forward. The more significant decades, the 1940's and the 1960's, will be devoted to two volume a piece. Can't wait for these! Once done, all volumes should be proudly displayed on every comic fan's bookcase.
Well, that is my quick wrap-up of the CCI 2009. Maybe next year I will find my way back out there. If not, I will travel there via my computer again, like the rest of the comic-buying public that can't afford to make the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, I mean San Diego.

Friday, July 24, 2009

San Diego day 2 News of Note

Here we are at the end of Day Two of the biggest entertainment con in the universe. I've been reading through the stories as they happen, and like yesterday, I'm going to touch on a couple of news worthy stories to highlight. And again, I am ONLY going to discuss COMICS related stories. Movies, TV, and video game info is all very exciting, but I want to talk comics!

The biggest announcement to come out today was Joe Q proudly telling the masses that Marvel has acquired the rights to Marvelman, aka Miracleman. This is both good and bad news if you ask me. Do check out the above image that Joe whipped together for promo art, looks pretty good. All I personally want to see for Miracleman is a reprint of all of the comics in hardcover and trade paperback, because quite frankly the secondary market for the trades of these issues alone is ungodly. Miracleman is one of those books I find myself discussing with many a customer, always followed up by a "Do you have those graphic novels here?" by said customer, and of course I have to respond with a "I wish." So soon, in theory, I will be able to say YES. I will be able to scream it from the rooftops: Miracleman, I mean Marvelman is HERE! I understand that Marvel can NOT resist changing his name back to the original, back when the book was a staple of the UK news stands, but that is exactly what scares me. I'm afraid that there will be an ALL NEW revamped version of my man Miracle or Marvel that will be incorporated into the Marvel U proper. No, no, no, no. I do NOT want that! By all means reprint the issues in lovely editions and maybe commission new stories by BIG name talent. I'm betting Neil would love to come back to the character some more, or hell maybe they can convince Alan Moore himself to come back to write some more tales of Miracleman, stranger things have happened, just look at Moore's run on Supreme for god's sake. I'm worried about this because Q hinted at this very thing in a video interview for CBR. That aside, this announcement is HUGE and I had to bring it to everyone's attention that may not be getting the updates of the con happenings via Twitter, Newsarama etc.

Other news.

Drawn and Quarterly signs Dan Clowes' next project: Wilson. This is big news, in the fine graphic novel arena anyway. Clowes' has spend most of his career with Fantagraphics. I'm sure the book will look just as lovely under D & Q's capable hands. Both Fantagraphics and D & Q have the highest standards in place for producing graphic novels, so I have little fear what this will mean to the reader, it's just an interesting note.

DC announced a new ongoing title: JSA All Stars written by Matt Sturges. I'm always happy to see more JSA books. Looks like the line-up will include Powergirl, Magog and others.

DC/Vertigo announced a couple of new projects that sound interesting. Daytripper by Fabio Moon and fan-fav Gabriel Ba. The other very interesting new series is Mike Allred and Chris Roberson's I, Zombie. Allred commented: "I hope it is to monsters what Fables is to fairy tales." It's about a zombie girl detective. Sounds like a must read if I ever heard one! Another mini-series announced, Joe the Barbarian 8 issue mini by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy. Morrison described it as "a mix between Lord of the Rings and Home Alone." OK, typical wacky Grant book, must read I'm sure.

Dark Horse announced a new series five issue mini by Mike Mingola and Chris Golden based on their character from their novel of the same name, Baltimore. Co-written by the two of them with art by Witchfinder artist Ben Stenbeck.

All in all, lots of good news to sift through, so in other words business as usual at the San Diego Comic-con.
More BIG announcements tomorrow will come fast and furious I'm sure. I will update again tomorrow night, so check back to read my take on all the craziness going on over in sunny SD.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day One San Diego Comic-con

So here we are, Day One of the biggest entertainment celebration on the planet, and there is lots to talk about. I'm not going to talk about the movie and TV announcements right now, since my main point for this blog is to talk about COMICS, you know that medium that inspired the first SD con 40 years ago? It's sometimes hard to find the "comics" at "Comic"-con but they are there, you just have to look under the various Hollywood hoopla.

The first thing I read about that was announced today at the show is: MORE BONE from Jeff Smith! Holy crap, I didn't see that coming. No way. I thought he was done with Bone, and was happy producing his sci-fi adventure Rasl. Looks like Scholastic has managed to convince him he needs to do MORE Bone and I applaud them for it. They've brought seasoned writer Tom Sniegoski in to co-write the first of these new volumes and it looks like he will be the only writer on the trilogy of books that will follow. The good news is Jeff Smith will be doing the art for ALL of these books, and that is what the fans REALLY want. Bone: Tall Tales coming in Summer 2010, followed by the trilogy Bone: Quest for the Spark book one Fall 2010, with two more volumes to follow in 2011. Bone books have sold over 4.5 MILLION copies since going to Scholastic. Damn impressive numbers, no matter how you look at it. Bone is in every public library on the planet (practically) and most grade school and high school libraries too, even those libraries that don't have a good selection of graphic novels ALWAYS have Bone. Congrats to Jeff Smith on that feat alone. I don't know how many copies of the NEW Bone graphic novels we will sell at the shop, but I'm sure they will all be proven perennial favorites. Maybe we will have a BIG Bone release party, like the book stores do when a new Harry Potter or Twilight book hits the shelves. Good idea, I must remember that for Summer 2010.

Next news tidbit that had me interested: IDW. Just that, IDW is THE publisher to watch. They've been growing slowly over the last 10 years, but they have made some major strides in the last couple of years, that started all the way back with the first 30 Days of Night mini-series, and then they bought the Transfomers license, the GI Joe license, the Star Trek license(s), the Locke and Key comics and the Clive Barker comics. So they've been busy as bees, but now look what they have announced:
Bob Schreck is the new senior editor at IDW. All I can say is WOW. That's a BIG deal. Bob was a staple at DC editorial for years, until he was rather unceremoniously "laid off" earlier this year. DC's loss will be IDW's gain I'm sure of it. Last big project Bob worked on over at DC was the All Star Batman and Robin and All Star Superman books. Bob knows just about everyone there is of note in this industry, so I'm sure we'll see some higher profile creators make their way over there soon. IDW has had a nice mix of medium to large names in the stable, but now they can maybe get the BIG GUNS. Time will tell how Bob's hiring will affect IDW's output.
The other big IDW announcement (there was actually quite a few, but this is the second one that really jumped out to me) was the new project entitled Back Roads. Written by Bill Willingham of Fables fame with art by Chicago's very own Gene Ha. (Don't forget Gene will be at the Amazing Fantasy in Frankfort, along with the rest of the art team for a JSA vs. Kobra signing on September 12th). This mini-series could be HUGE. Can't wait! Haven't heard a lot of details as to what this series will be about, but it sounds good to me for those two names on the project alone! Willingham describes it as "Maxfield Parish with guns!" OK, I'm sold!
One other note about IDW's big announcements, they brought J. Scott Campbell to the stage to announce that IDW would be publishing the Danger Girl collections (currently available from Wildstorm, but creator-owned books move around all the time, so there you go) and MAYBE a new mini-series by Campbell. Hm, yeah. I'll believe that when I see it. Campbell has a bit of a reputation of not exactly getting work done in a timely manner, BUT that being said, he certainly has a nice fan base, so if IDW can manage to get a new Danger Girl out with any kind of regularity that could only be a good thing.

Oh, I almost forget a big announcement happened for Moonstone at the con and we weren't even there: Comixology's new IPhone App was announced:

Among the twenty publishers that have already signed up to deliver their titles through Comics by comiXology are many well-known industry icons including:

* AdHouse Books
* Arcana Comics
* Asylum Press
* Bluewater Comics
* Com.X
* Creative Impulse Entertainment
* Digital Webbing
* eigoMANGA
* Evil Twin Comics
* First Salvo
* Image Comics (Active Images, Allred, Kirkman, Wagner, Brunswick, Revel and more)
* Markosia
* Moonstone
* Red 5
* Slave Labor Graphics
* Th3rd World Studios
* Zenescope

Additionally, popular comics writer Robert Kirkman has agreed to deliver his titles exclusively through Comics by comiXology making it the only place to get “Walking Dead” and “Invincible” for iPhone and iPod touch.

The Comics by comiXology App is now available, including over 30 free comics, for $0.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.



We are VERY excited about this new opportunity for our comics to be distributed digitally. And we are in pretty good company: AdHouse, Image, Red 5, Slave Labor and Zenoscope, among others. Everyone with an IPhone should go download the app and try it for the fun of it! Report back and let me know how it is! (I don't have an Iphone so I will just have to take everyone else's word for now...)

Many other crazy shit was announced at SD Day one, but these are the news points I wanted to cover, so if you want more coverage go over to Newsarama for the whole damn shebang.

So until tomorrow when we have EVEN more news items to sift through....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Something to get excited about from Marvel!



This is from taken directly from Marvel's site about Strange Tales Max #1:
(My comments follow the info from Marvel proper)

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Marvel Comics is proud to announce the release of STRANGE TALES MAX #1 (of 3) in September 2009, featuring the most acclaimed creators in independent comics today! This landmark three-issue limited series, overflowing with 48 pages of all-new stories, features your favorite Marvel heroes—from Spider-Man to the Hulk—like you've never seem them before! Paul Pope, Peter Bagge, Molly Crabapple & John Leavitt, Junko Mizuno, Dash Shaw, James Kochalka, Johnny Ryan, Michael Kupperman, Nick Bertozzi, Nicholas Gurewich, Jason and more unite for the all-new STRANGE TALES MAX!Just what does Peter Bagge have planned in "The Incorrigible Hulk," a story so incredible that we had to serialize it over all three issues? Will Spider-Man make it out alive of Jason's thrilling story? This first issue comes wrapped in a marvel-ous cover by Paul Pope and Jose Villarubia!"Flat out, this is the apex of human artistic achievement," says Editor John Barber. "This is it. The end. The crowning result of tens of millions of years of evolution, right here, in three packed-to-the-gills issues. The philosophy of the book was to have these creators from 'indy' or 'alternative' or 'literary" or 'art' comics come in and do what they do best. I think Marvel readers will really dig seeing radically different versions of their favorite characters, and the fans of these cartoonists will get to see the creators work in a milieu they never thought they'd get to see. It's win-win. It's really the best of both worlds."Editor Jody LeHeup adds, "This book is a metric ton of solid gold awesome. The talent we've got lined up are without hyperbole some of the greatest creative minds working in comics today. I mean, who wouldn't want to read a Spider-Man story by Jason? Or an Iron Man story by Tony Millionaire? Or anything by any of the contributors we've got attached to the project? I've been reading independent comics my whole life and I've always wanted to see what those creators could do with Marvel characters if they were given free reign to tell their stories. Well, now that vision's becoming a reality and I can't tell you what an incredibly special thing it is to see the final result. If you're a fan of comics of any school, do yourself a favor and pick this up."Now's your chance to experience the Marvel Universe through the eyes of the best and brightest indie talents!
Don't miss STRANGE TALES MAX #1 in stores this fall!STRANGE TALES MAX #1 (of 3)Written and Drawn by: PAUL POPE, PETER BAGGE, MOLLY CRABAPPLE &JOHN LEAVITT, JUNKO MIZUNO, DASH SHAW, JAMES KOCHALKA, JOHNNY RYAN, MICHAEL KUPPERMAN, NICK BERTOZZI, NICHOLAS GUREWICH, AND JASONCover by PAUL POPE Explicit Content …$4.99On-Sale In September!
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I am SO excited about this mini-series! Strange Tales is THE series of the year to get from the crazy cats over at Marvel. (Please note, I don't normally get too excited about Marvel projects, I tend to leave that to The Colonel, but....) I can't believe Marvel is going to release these! Oh boy oh boy, DAMN good collection of talent in these forth-coming pages. Pre-order issue one from your local Amazing Fantasy today: jul090581. This is an indie comic fan's dream come true! This is for all the folks that have been buying Wednesday Comics from DC! Same high caliber creators and characters. Not exactly the unique format that we have with Wednesday Comics, but nonetheless, you NEED to pick these up! We need to show Marvel that projects like this CAN work and WILL sell! I can't believe I forgot to hype this series on my blog, oops, too bogged down with the overload of upcoming con info. Damn you Comicon International, distracting me with all of your exclusives, all of your shiny Hollywood stars, and all of your A list comic talent, all of your 400 PLUS panels and more. It all makes me very tired, but remembering Strange Tales has given me something to get excited about RIGHT NOW! Not too long to wait. First issue of this three issue soon to be called "Masterpiece" will be in September! Can NOT wait! Do I think the traditional Marvel Zombie fanboy or fangirl is the target audience for this book? Well, no of course not, this is for the REST OF US! The indie-friendly comic connoisseur, we that enjoy good quality comic storytelling, but can't bring ourselves to read much in the way of Marvel's output, THIS is for us!!!! Maybe, just maybe an old school Marvel Zombie fan will buy this on accident and then fall in love with a creator they had never heard of before, like Peter Bagge, or Jason or Paul Pope or Nick Bertozzi, all of those creators that the rest of us have loved for years may get some much needed exposure to the mainstream fans.
Yeah Marvel! (Wow it's weird to type that).

Monday, July 20, 2009

So sick of CCI talk!





I never noticed before the sheer amount of coverage about the San Diego Comic-con International gets leading up to the con. Since I normally go, it never really bothers me, BUT since I'm not going this year, I don't really care about which stars are going to be there or not. So, I thought I would talk about what will be happening in these parts very soon: Wizard World Chicago, or what they are now calling Chicago Comicon. As I'm sure you know it will be happening about two weeks after the SD show, August 6-9 in Rosemont IL.

So as you can by the above pictures Arnold and Willis reunite in Chicago! Wow, what a coup for Wizard to snag these two MAJOR stars! I mean I guess it's kind of fun to see these two guys together again, but....

Let's look at the ever-growing list of creators that WILL be in attendance at the show this year.

Jason Aaron: cool! I can't remember if he's ever been to a Chicago show or not, but his profile certainly gets bigger and bigger every year, so this is a good addition to the show!

Dave Aikins: one of my FAVORITE artists, and a personal friend of mine. He is the artist behind ALL the Zombie games from Twilight Creations, literally ALL of the art used for ALL the expansions, including Humans and Martians are from ol' Dave. Search him out. He will do very cool "zombie" versions of your favorite characters in your sketch book for a nominal fee. He did a lovely/creepy Zombiefied Wonder Woman for me. So make sure you find him to get one of these cool sketches!

Mike Allred: all right! This is very exciting! I think it's been over 10 years since he's been to a Chicago show. Definitely line up for Mike. Super nice guy. Hope he's doing sketches! If not, bring your copies of Wednesday Comics to him so he can sign his very cool Metamorpho strips written by the award-winning Neil Gaiman. Didn't pick up Wednesday Comics yet? Shame on you! Go to your local A/F RIGHT NOW and buy issues one and two, or wait until Wednesday, and then you can pick up the FIRST THREE issues. Yay!

Brian Azzarello: all the way from.... Chicago! Seriously though, Brian doesn't always get a chance to go to the local shows. Seek him out. He's a cool cat, and he too contributed to Wednesday Comics, penning the Batman strips (yet ANOTHER reason to pick up these issues!) so if you have your copies with you, I'm sure he would sign them for you!

Art Baltazar: How can you not love Tiny Titans? I mean really! He will usually do wonderful crayon or Tiny Titans style sketches for fans. There is usually a line, but it moves pretty fast. And he's a crazy dude, lots of fun to talk to.

J. Scott Campbell: hm... I think this may be the first time he's come to a Chicago show, or at the least the first time in many years. He created Danger Girl. Maybe he'll do sketches, maybe he won't but it's not a bad idea to check into that or dig out your Danger Girl comics to get those babies signed!

Howard Chaykin: wowza! That is also very exciting. I don't remember him coming to a Chicago show, or at least it's been a coon's age. Go, get a sketch, chat with him, and tell him "The Colonel" sent you. Daron "The Colonel" Jensen is SUPER excited that one of his all-time favorite creators is going to be on hand!

JG Jones: cool! He's a damn fine artist, he did ALL 52 covers to the series 52 if I'm not mistaken. No small feat. This may be the first time for him in Chicago too, or it's been a while. Seek him out for sure.

James Kuhoric: what a great guy! Not only has he written a variety of horror comics, like Army of Darkness, Dead Irons, and Freddie Vs. Jason Vs. Ash, he has also contributed to a number of Moonstone publications. Many of our short story anthologies, include stories by Jim. So stop by, say hi, and tell him I sent you. (You won't get anything special, I just think it would be funny to over run him with folks saying "Lori from Amazing Fantasy and Moonstone sent me!") He really is lots of fun to chat with. If you've never read his stuff before, buy something from him and try it. Or better yet, come to the Moonstone booth and buy our Spider Chronicles, Jim wrote a wonderful story about Nazi robots, how can you go wrong with Nazi robots, I mean really? Then you can wander over to Jim's booth and he will sign it for you.

David Mack: always a pleasure to stop by and check out David's newest work. Everything he does is SO pretty. And he's another very cool guy to talk to. Get a sketch or pick up some Kabuki from him, or a print or two.

Sean McKeaver: yay! Sean is such a great guy. Definitely go out of your way to find him. He's written a ton of stuff for Marvel and DC, including Spiderman Loves Mary Jane. (The first series) Never checked that out? You really should. Tons of fun. It's kind of scary how in tune with teenage girls Sean can be. I think he said he would just hang out at the local mall to do research. Great idea there, perfect even. Brilliant writer!

Mark Millar: the guest of honor himself! He will be hard to track down I'm sure. Most likely long lines will be awaiting him wherever he goes, but how can you not want to chat with Millar? He's Scottish, so it's just fun to hear him talk!

Mike Norton: another great guy! We had him out at the shop for FCBD two years ago. If you didn't get a chance to meet him then, be sure to find him. He has done SO much work for Marvel and DC, odds are good you have at least one book by him in your collection. Find his books and get him to sign them or maybe get a sketch!

James O'barr: wow! The man behind The Crow will be on hand. He comes out every few years. Always good to support O'barr.

George Perez: holy shit! George Perez is going to be at the show! That is SO cool. He's one of the most amazing artists working today. I believe he will be at the Hero Initiative booth, raising money for this all important non-profit organization. Stop by their booth, donate some cash, and I'm betting at different times during the con, George will be doing sketches to help raise more money for the cause. Your money couldn't be going to a better cause.

Bill Reinhold: yay Bill! Bill is another Chicago native, but I'm always excited to get a chance to chat with him. He is such a good guy. And he's another guy that has done SO much work over the years, odds are very good you have a stack of his books and aren't aware that you do. Dig, look, and check them out. One of the best inkers in the business, no doubt about it.

Tim Seeley: another yay! Tim is the creator of Hack/Slash and has done various work for Devil's Due over the years and Marvel. He's the only guy who has convinced the Suicide Girls to appear in a comic, and he's done that twice. He's gotta be cool for that reason alone! If you haven't checked out Hack/Slash and you are a horror movie fan, you really should.

Dan Slott: another great guest! Wizard is really trying to bring in some cool names this year, I'll give them that. Dan is a fan-favorite Marvel writer who always brings a great sense of humor to his writing. I've never had the chance to meet him in person, but what a great opportunity at Wizard Chicago.

Arthur Suydam: how cool is that? The man that brought us almost ALL the Marvel Zombies covers! I'm betting you have at least one of his covers in your collection, hell bring all of your Marvel Zombie books for him to sign!

Matt Wagner: another great creator to have on hand. Couldn't meet a nicer guy, really. And if you haven't read his Grendel or Mage series, go pick up a trade or two before the show so he can sign them for you. You won't be disappointed in either title.

Skottie Young: oh how I love Skottie! We had him out at the shop for this last FCBD, and what a wonderful guy! He is currently working on the amazing Wonderful Wizard of Oz for Marvel. And I hear they plan on adapting the rest of the Baum novels into comic book form. Can't wait! Seek this man out, get a sketch or just tell him thanks for bringing the Wizard of Oz books to life in such a special way!

AND let us not forget, there will be TWENTY ONE wrestlers on hand. Yep, 21. The list grows every time I look at it. There is a big cross-over between comic fans and wrestling fans, so check it out wrestling fans!

See, there really are a lot of good reasons to check out the show this year. Not all of us can afford to go to San Diego every year, hell some of us have never made it there! Don't get me wrong, every comic fan needs to get out there at least once, but if you can't go, there are plenty of great comic book related events right here at home. After Wizard World, Windy City con will be headed our way in September and of course, the much discussed C2E2 in April of 2010.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"The Colonel" Reviews Captain America #601


For those of you coming in late, "The Colonel" is one of our good customers, Daron, that shops at the Frankfort Amazing Fantasy. He is one of the contributors to "The Official Index to the Marvel Universe". So yeah, he's an official employee of Marvel, so who better to review some Marvel comics here on my blog? It's pretty well documented here and elsewhere and that I can't always find the love that I should for Marvel. So, here is "The Colonel's" review of both Captain America #601 and he tells you why you should buy the mini-trade of Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil.
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Captain America #601

Ed Brubaker teams up with Gene Colan to tell a moody tale of Captain America fighting vampires in WWII!

The real draw here is the art by Gene “The Dean” Colan. Moody, atmospheric, and filled with dread, the comic is a joy to look at from cover to cover. I first came across Gene Colan’s art way back in the summer of 1989, in Wolverine #9. Even then I was struck by his distinctive style, and his ability to convey emotions, especially tension and fear. Over time I specifically sought out comics by Colan from his runs on Iron Man to Daredevil. And now, seeing his art in Captain America #601, I’m overjoyed to see he still has “IT.” Overjoyed. I think I’m going to pull out some of his Tomb of Draculas now…

Also Awesome this week:

Agents of ATLAS #8:

Jimmy gives the finger to Osborn, he finds out what his old girlfriend Suwan has been up to, and the team fights the Hulk. If you like fun comics, you should be reading Agents of ATLAS.

Dr. Doom & the Masters of Evil Digest

Collecting the 4-issue miniseries, featuring Dr. Doom the way he should be written. While it guest stars many different heroes and villains, the real reason to check this out is Dr. Doom doing what Doom does best. Lots of fun in a handy-sized package.

-Daron “The Colonel” Jensen

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There you have it, the (in theory) weekly Marvel plug here on this blog. I have to say, Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil really is worth checking out. Even Paul (aka Jerkules) at the Frankfort store liked it, and he hates just about everything! And, I have to agree with Daron "The Colonel" that Captain America is ALWAYS a good read. Brubaker is my man, can't go wrong there, unless of course he's writing a book with "X" in the title. Then yo could go wrong, but through no fault of his own, I blame the X universe and the sheer scope and breath that is covered within that realm.

New Anaheim Comic-con announced

So as of yesterday, Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard Entertainment, announced a brand new convention in Anaheim California. And lookie here, the dates are the same as the new C2E2 in Chicago. I guess you could say the war is now on between Reed Expos (the guys behind the New York Comic-con and the new C2E2) and Shamus. Shamus also recently purchased the New York Big Apple show and one of the Toronto shows. Shamus is collecting shows or so it seems. Interesting to note that none of his recent acquisitions have the Wizard name attached in any way shape or form. He is trying desperately to get back to a position of power in the convention world. I wish him luck, I'm sure he can do it if he hires the right person to promote and run these three shows. That is one on the main problems with the last few years of Wizard shows across the county, no defined character for any of these shows. It's like Wizard just expected to put the con on and then people would come because it's a Wizard show. That worked when fans liked Wizard Magazine. They don't like it as much anymore. It still comes out monthly which is nice, but with the advent of all the online news sites, there is little point to read Wizard, when you can get the same information online months ahead of magazine publication and Wizard magazine has gotten thinner and thinner as time goes on, but the same price point of $5.99. What Wizard Magazine could do is make a bigger monthly price guide, and maybe every month focus on a different aspect of the back issue market, you know information that isn't as readily available on line. Or focus on ONE good lengthy interview with a big name creator (ala Comics Journal) but with more mainstream folks. Perhaps tease the interview on the Wizard website and then print the FULL interview in the magazine. I don't know, I'm just coming up with ideas out of the air here.

Ok, I didn't mean to derail into a discussion of Wizard Magazine. I originally just wanted to point out that Wizard Entertainment CEO has decided to declare war on the guys behind C2E2 and the New York Comic-con. At this point, I can't say with any certainty that the Chicago Wizard show will even exist in any capacity next year. This year is iffy at best, since the big companies aren't even going to be there and Bryan Hitch pulled out recently too. Not looking good, but we will see how it pans out. It could still be a good show, and if it manages to pull in big enough numbers of attendees, then next year could still be viable. I just think he is being silly to schedule his new Anaheim show at the same time as the new C2E2. The guys at Reed have been drumming up guests and announcements for a while now. I imagine we will see more info about who is going to be there at the San Diego show, that's my guess anyway, or maybe they will time some big announcement to be made the same weekend as the Wizard Chicago show. Shamus will not be competing so much for the attendees, obviously since the shows are like 1800 miles apart or something, they will be competing for the big companies and names however.

The war is on! Who will be the victor? My money is on Reed, but who knows? The con line-up for next year looks to be crazy, with big cons all over the county at all different times of year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Black Lantern Ring

Check it out! The Blackest Night promo ring is here! That's right! Buy a copy of Blackest Night #1 at your local Amazing Fantasy and you will receive a Black Lantern ring, as pictured above. No, it doesn't really work, it doesn't light up or anything, but still pretty damn cool. Limit of 1 ring per person, while supplies last, with purchase of Blackest Night #1. This has to be one of the coolest promos in ages. Leave it to DC, they ALWAYS give goodies away. I don't even remember the last time Marvel had a cool promotional give-away, I think it was back in the 90's, when they would give out various promotional pins, like a Spidey head, or a Santa Spidey head, or a Ghost Rider head. Those were fun. These days Marvel gives away promotional "Saga" comics that catch the reader up on a particular title or family of titles, or the recent Marvel Readers Catalog which had a wonderful chronological listing of the all the Marvel GN's available (unfortunately it also listed GN's that are not in print, but I've bitched about that before on this blog), and poster give-aways. All of these are very cool items, BUT when the fan can get a SOMETHING as a promo, then it elevates the promotion into the realm of EXTRA special. DC has given away I believe at least two different Green Lantern rings over the years, various pins, bookmarks and posters. I just love the STUFF. If I had kept all the various promotional items that comic book publishers have given away over the years it would take up a whole drawer (again, I am NOT talking about comics or posters, but tangible THINGS). Yay DC! Way to get people excited about a new comic book series. Not only has the DCU been building up to Blackest Night for a couple of years now, but this promo ring has people SUPER excited. I received at least 3 phone calls at the Frankfort shop today to inquire about the ring. That has never happened before, people calling about a PROMO item. I'm sure Blackest Night will do VERY well, we sold quite a few in one day alone, so maybe we will see more Lantern mini-series over the next few years: a Yellow Lantern (Sinestro) mini-series so they can produce and give away Yellow Lantern rings, an Indigo Tribe mini-series so they can produce and give away Indigo Tribe/Lantern rings, etc. We should all start campaigning for this right now! I want to have the whole collection of Lantern promo rings! Yes, I could buy that forthcoming JLA Trophy Room Green Lantern Rings Prop Replica that lights up that retails for $250.00, BUT those rings are made out of resin and are not meant to be worn. Make more promo rings DC! Next time I talk to my DC retail rep, I will mention this. (I'm sure they've heard this a million times before, but it couldn't hurt to ask. So if you see DC at a convention, be sure to ask for more colored Green Lantern promo rings!)

Oh yeah, the comics came out too: Blackest Night #1, along with Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1. I almost forgot to mention those, oops! Both are great reads. Highly recommended. I will write up a review later in the week. I got all wrapped up in the free jewelry.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

San Diego Comic-con could move!



Comic-Con International in San Diego is THE biggest comic and entertainment convention of the year, both in number of attendees and in square-footage. There has been talk for years that the San Diego Comic-con would move. The problem is that the con is at capacity, there is no where to expand TO at their present site. They use every square inch of the current hall for the show. There has been talk of another expansion of the current exhibit facility, but nothing has happened as of yet. If the SD people don't get their act together soon it is very possible that Comic-con International after being in San Diego for the last 40 years will be changing venues. There are apparently 3 other venues that have been courting Comic-con International for years. Their contract expires in 2012 in the current SD location, so after that CCI has not committed to any venue. The three choices are: Las Vegas, Anaheim, and Los Angeles. Check out the chart above, I think it's pretty obvious where the CCI will move to: Los Angeles. It's a no brainer. The con hall costs little to no money, since the city makes up for the loss of revenue in the sheer volume of hotel rooms rented, etc. I don't want to see CCI move from SD, but I don't see what else they can do. The con is already at capacity. They sold out of tickets MONTHS ago, that's right MONTHS. If they could accommodate more bodies, CCI could be making even MORE money. And let's face it, it's all about the money, it has to be when you are in business. I wonder if they've been tracking the number of people that WANTED to get tickets but couldn't. I suppose they could also track the number of people that come to the con during the show and ask for tickets. So they can fit about 126,000 people right now, my guess is they could easily sell another 30,000 tickets if they had them. The problem with moving the show to LA is the hall would only fit an additional 14,000 people. Not much room to grow there, and LV only would accommodate an additional 24,000 people. Hm... I wonder what the capacity for McCormick Place in Chicago is if they use all of the space. Maybe they could just move it here? Chicago SURE is convenient for all the folks in Hollywood, ok NOT, but it's fun to dream. The floor space available at McCormick Place is 2,670,000 square feet, which is 670,000 feet MORE than the LV con hall, which leads me to assume that capacity for attendees would be MORE than LV, but I can't verify that. I tried to call and ask them, but their offices were closed, so give me an "A" for effort anyway. Maybe McCormick Place should also throw their collective hat into the ring for consideration. Yes, C2E2 will indeed be at McCormick place in April 2010, but that will be a brand new show. I expect it to big, grand, and most likely expensive, but it doesn't have the 40 years branding and experience behind it. So could Comic-con International come to Chicago instead of staying in SD or moving to LA or LV? Hell yeah. Do I think it will happen? Hell no. We are just TOO far from Hollywood to make it work, which is why if CCI does change venue, I'm guessing it will just move to LA proper to make it that much easier for the Hollywood folks to come out in droves. In that case, they might as well dump the
"Comic" part of the show and just call it an "Entertainment" expo, but I hope SD finds a way to convince the CCI to stay right where it is in beautiful downtown Sad Diego. If they could present the new expansion plans with a definite ground breaking date, maybe CCI would consider staying. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Asterios Polyp



Asterios Polyp, a graphic novel by David Mazzucchelli.

From the back of the book:
"Who is Asterios Polyp? Architect, professor, author, husband, but that was all in the past. Now, as he marks half a century, he's become a shadow of his former self. But it's a stormy night, and a lightning bolt is about to set him on a fateful journey. "
"Acclaimed cartoonist David Mazzucchelli has masterfully crafted an enthralling story that plumbs the possibilities of the graphic novel and steers it into thrilling new territory."

There is no way I could possibly review this graphic novel and do it justice. Suffice it to say that this is another GREAT book, on scale with Maus, Fun Home, Persepolis, Stitches and others. David Mazzucchelli has produced many great comics over the years, from Batman: Year One with Frank Miller all the way through his brilliant self-published over-sized treasure trove Rubber Blanket, he has never disappointed. (May I dare to hope that NOW Rubber Blankets will FINALLY be reprinted in graphic novel form for god's sake? Dare to dream....) Asterios Polyp is quite simply one of the best graphic novels of ALL TIME. Again, like Stitches, this book actually lives up to the hype. I'm sure both of these books will dominate the Eisner's next year, and rightfully so, but Asterios Polyp will be put up on a pedestal, demonstrating what can be achieved in the graphic medium, that can not be achieved in a standard prose novel. The last thing I remember Mazzucchelli giving us, his long devoted fans, was the graphic novel adaptation of the Kafka-esque City of Glass novel by Paul Auster. To see him return to the medium triumphantly is a joy to behold. The sheer scope of what David manages in the massive tomb that is Asterios Polyp, will be taught in many graphic novel college courses for years to come. I am so glad David was able to produce this important work for all of us, for his old fans and new fans alike. Nothing else this year, or maybe for many years from now will be able to match this book. I'm not exaggerating here. Mazzucchelli uses a simple cartoon style to depict his protagonist, Asterios, but don't let the simple lines fool you. Every page is a visual masterpiece unto itself. His choice of color palette and lettering style changes and varies from page to page, and from chapter to chapter, from character to character. Nothing was an accident, every minute detail was thought out. This book is a study by itself. It can be read and re-read many times, and each time the reader will find something new and amazing, like Watchmen before it, this is the book that will always be considered a classic of the medium. Mazzucchelli is the new Pynchon of graphic fiction. Everyone must read this book, or at very least next time you are at your local Amazing Fantasy, pick it up and flip through it so you can see first hand what I am talking about here.

I can't believe I read two top-notch graphic novels in a row! Now, everything else I read this week will inevitably be a let down.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stitches



On Saturday, I worked the ALA Moonstone booth, and it was quite a success. I managed to sneak over to the Norton booth to pick up a copy of David Small's much discussed Stitches: A Memoir graphic novel. It's an "advance reading copy, not for sale" so I get to feel somewhat privileged to be able to read this before it hits store shelves September 8th. The book is not coming out until September and not only did Norton give away stacks of these at the ALA show here in Chicago in July, they also gave away stacks of the book at the BEA in New York last month. Norton obviously is aware of what a great book they have on their hands to be pushing the shit out of it months ahead of release. All of the preliminary reviews I've read so far are overwhelmingly positive, and now I understand why. This is it, the next great Maus, Persepolis or Fun Home. David Small may not be a well known name to the comics industry but he is HUGE in the book industry, being a very famous children's book illustrator with many children's best sellers on his resume.

From the back of the book: "The Prize-winning children's author depicts a childhood from hell in this redemptive memoir."
"One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal chord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had throat cancer and was expected to die. David Small, in Stiches, re-creates a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. Readers will be riveted by his journey from speechless victim, subjected to x-rays by his radiologist father and scolded by his withholding mother, to his decision to flee his home with nothing more than his dreams of becoming an artist."

Upon reading this graphic novel, you can't help but be moved by this story that transfixes the reader from the first panel forward. 329 pages of black and white moody art that propels the reader along with alarming speed. You can not put this book down. I challenge you to read it in anything less than a single sitting. This is the story of a small boy, surrounded by loveless parents, ignorant of his cancer until too late, who has to overcome overwhelming odds to make it out of his home and prison-like family life alive and sane. This book obviously took years to produce, and I imagine every day David worked on it was a study in self-reflection and pain. This portrait of his early life that David has recreated in Stitches is therapeutic story-telling at its best. Like Maus, Persepolis, and Fun Home that came before it, there is no doubt that Stitches will win every award from here to the moon available to it, in both the book industry and the comic book industry. This is next year's big Eisner winner, no doubt about it. And like the aforementioned M, and FH, this story is ultimately about the writer coming to terms with his dysfunctional relationship with his mother and father, but especially his mother. After reading this story, the reader will find a much greater appreciation for their own childhood, because very few of us can identify with the home-life and childhood depicted here. Stitches is a vehicle for David Small to finally move forward in his life, past the absurdity of his childhood, and all the horrors associated with it.

Read this book and you will witness first hand the potential for the comic book medium. Stitches is what every pretentious work of graphic fiction strives for that very few deliver.
Creepy, haunting, thought-provoking and scary as hell, Stitches will grab the reader by his or her soul and will never truly let go.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I went to the ALA today, along with Amazing Fantasy owner and Moonstone EIC Joe, to help set up the Moonstone booth. The ALA is the annual "American Library Association" convention. WOW! Very impressive! I've never been to an ALA show. It's massive, on scale if not bigger than the San Diego Comic-con. It's not in Chicago every year, so we at Moonstone decided to take advantage while it was in town. They were nice enough to place our booth in the "graphic novel pavilion" meaning we are located by other publishers of graphic novels, comics and genre publishing. In our aisle there is IDW, Viz, and Tokyopop and other comic publishers of note were close by as well.

Tomorrow is the first day that the exhibit hall is open. I'm pretty excited. This is an excellent opportunity to talk to librarians from all of the country about our comics, graphic novels, prose anthologies, and novels. The exhibit hall is open from Saturday-Tuesday, so it's a pretty long show. Graphic novels are getting more and more shelf space at libraries so it's great to see so many comic book publishers making an effort with the librarians. Even the C2E2 show representatives have a booth there and they will be sponsoring a special comic related event focusing on the CBLDF, with Neil Gaiman and Jill Thompson on hand to discuss the issue. It's quite obvious that comics are becoming more and more important in libraries, and it's a pleasure to witness. I never thought the mainstream media would take graphic fiction seriously, but more and more outlets are doing that very thing.

An exciting part of the ALA show is it is taking place at McCormick Place, so we get to see first hand what the C2E2 show could be like. C2E2 has the potential to be the biggest comic book show in the country just because the venue is so very huge. I'm sure this first year in April 2010, only a portion of McCormick Place's square footage will be devoted to the show, but wow it could grow to a be a bigger show that the SD con just because there is so much space. Very exciting, but very expensive. As a publisher, we thought the SD show was expensive, but actually it's a bargain to exhibit there in comparison to exhibiting at the ALA, but we do think it is worth every penny. Time will tell if it is.

Going to this show, seeing all the amenities that McCormick Place has to offer, I don't really see how Wizard World Chicago can possibly continue after this year, because it will be VERY hard to compete with the venue. The Donald Stevenson convention center doesn't hold a candle to McCormick Place. And McCormick Place is right on the edge of the loop, so there are many reasons for exhibitors, creators, celebrities, and fans to make the trip.

Tomorrow the convention hall goes LIVE, can't wait! Sometimes it really is all about comics for me 24/7, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wizard World Chicago 2009 Line-up


Wizard World Chicago is coming soon, August 6-9 to be exact. The guest list is pretty impressive, here are some of the highlights:

Mark Millar, George Perez, Dan Slott, Bryan Hitch, Jason Aaron, Frank Cho, JG Jones, Alex Maleev, Mike Allred, Greg Horn, J. Scott Campbell, David Mack, Sean McKeever, Mike Norton, Bill Reinhold, Tim Seeley, Billy Tan, J. O'barr, and Matt Wagner to name just a few.

Nice looking big name talent for the guest list. The creators alone make this a worthwhile show to attend, which is nice.

As far as comic book publishers represented, well the list isn't as impressive. No Marvel, no DC, no Dark Horse, no Image. Scanning the exhibitors list: these are the biggest names that will be there: Avatar, Moonstone, and Top Shelf. Avatar and Moonstone are within driving distance of Chicago so really the only other big name publisher that will be there is Top Shelf. All three of these publishers offer a wide variety of books, so it is definitely worth it to check them out. (If you haven't checked Amazing Fantasy's sister company Moonstone, shame on you, but this will be an excellent opportunity to do so). But the con won't feel the same without DC's massive presence. Last year Marvel did have an area for their signings, but it wasn't quite the same as DC's, so I'm not surprised to see Marvel pulling out. Last year Dark Horse had one little booth there and that was it, so again, not surprised to see them bowing out. Image, again last year, I think only Image's imprint Shadowline was there, so I understand they decided not to come out. But I am SO disappointed that DC won't be there. There is nothing like walking through the DC booth. It's huge, colorful, free posters, pins, green lantern rings etc. It's such a thrill talking to the editors etc. Not this year. Darn it! However, DC will be at C2E2 in April. So we have that to look forward to.

I'm afraid this is the death knell for Wizard World Chicago. I really thought THIS would be the last big year, but it's not looking that way at all. I would be VERY surprised if there is even a Wizard Chicago show next year. If they do want to do a show next year, something will have to change if they want it to succeed. It looks like the end of an era.

I do think that this year will still be a fun show, there are lots of guests, many DC and Marvel artists and writers will be on hand, along with other fun independent creators. And because we may see a lower turn out than normal, this will be an excellent opportunity to chat with some of your favorite creators. So come on out, have fun!

This will be a very interesting show indeed. We will have to wait to see how it all plays out...

Tickets are still available at the Frankfort, Calumet City, and Lockport Amazing Fantasy locations.

The Nineties Done Right!!!


This is a quote from a Newsarma article:

“This is Marvel doing the nineties right,” explained David Gabriel, Marvel Comics Senior Vice President of Sales & Circulation. “We’re taking two of the most popular cover treatments of all time—foil and holograms—to create an all new kind of cover, as a ‘thank-you’ to fans who’ve been demanding this kind of variant! Retailers and fans don't need to worry. We're only doing this on a limited basis. You won't see one on Ms Marvel #46 or Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #4. We're using them to mark very special occasions...such as the launch of Ultimate Comics line.”

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Someone shoot me now. Really. I CAN NOT believe Marvel and their newest bullshit. Yeah, "The nineties done right" that is exactly what we need right now. Thanks Marvel! Just when I didn't think they could possibly annoy me more, we have this. It is official Marvel DOES NOT remember their past at all. Nope, not one little bit. The 90's almost succeeded in killing the comics market, let's not go back there, really, let's not. Ok, if they wanted to do some kind of snazzy new foil cover gimmick, how about using it on the regular version of the cover? You know the one that everyone will actually be able to find at their local shops? THAT might get people excited, this is only going to piss people off because all three of these "foilograms" are variants, 1 in 25 variants to be exact. Yeah, that isn't going to suck or anything for the consumers. Way to drive up the price on the secondary market Marvel, I'm sure that is helpful to your share holders. I'm sure Marvel thinks that retailers will race to order more copies of the book to satisfy demand, but to really make that work, we as retailers would have to charge the same price for the "foilogram" as 25 copies of the book, meaning $100.00 would be the price. No, we don't do that to our customers. This is beyond stupid. Hey if Marvel wants to do a special new type of cover, by all means try it and see if people like it and see if they buy mass quantities of it, but don't make it the godda** variant! The "foilograms" should have been the REGULAR cover. Unbelievable. Wow. So, if you as a customer would like to get your hands on one of these variants how can you do that? Call or stop in your local A/F and order 25 copies of the book you want the "foilogram" for and then after paying for those 25 copies, you will get the variant. How cool is that? Yeah, not very cool at all, I know.

Ding dong.

Who's there?

Foilogram!

Foilogram who?

(insert your own witty reply here)

This is what I think of when I think of the all new exciting Marvel "Foilogram". Boy I sure hope Marvel gets a patent on that name and technology. That would be tres exciting indeed!

THANKS MARVEL, you guys are awesome!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chew #1 piggybacks Walking Dead #63

"Chew, written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob Guillory, follows Tony Chu, a cop with a disgusting manner of finding clues: by getting a psychic impression off anything he eats." (Quoted from a Newsarama article).

#2 of Chew is on shelves NOW, but the mania for issue one continues to build! First and second prints have SOLD OUT for #1 across the board on the retail level, distributor level and at the publisher level. Image, being the smart publishers they are, did not want to wait for another printing to be offered, instead Chew #1 will be reprinted on the flipside of Walking Dead #63, shipping July 17th, at NO EXTRA CHARGE! That's right, for the same price of an issue of Walking Dead, you get a first issue of Chew FOR FREE! Be sure to let your local Amazing Fantasy know if you would like a copy held for you.

Congrats to Layman and Guillory for the success! It's nice to see a new Image book take off so well. This book has been receiving rave reviews across the board, try it. Something new, something fun, for no extra cash. You gotta like that. I haven't had a chance to read it yet myself since the first and second prints of #1 literally flew off the shelves before I could even think about grabbing one. Don't be left behind on this great new series!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This Week's Must Read!

(Note: The above image is from a forth-coming issue of Wednesday Comics, and not this week's #1.)

Issue one of Wednesday Comics comes out tomorrow, Wednesday July 8th. I got a chance to read this issue and I have to say it is quite unique. I’ve never seen anything close to this attempted before with mainstream superheroes. There is a whole assortment of characters, something for everyone: Batman, Kamandi, Hawkman, Deadman, Superman, Green Lantern, Metamorpho, Teen Titans, Adam Strange, Supergirl, Metal Men, Wonder Woman, Sgt. Rock, Flash, and The Demon with Catwoman. You’ve seen the list of big time talent associated with this book too, I’m sure, since I’ve already talked about it here a few weeks back, and you can’t help but hear about Wednesday Comics if you go to ANY comic related news site or the DC website. I LOVED it! Loads of fun. All I was missing was my morning coffee to get the full newspaper experience. The art looks great in this format, so so amazing. Some of the one-page strips work better than others, and that is mostly because the one thing lacking in this unique venture is a stronger editorial arm. I know this is Mark Chiarello’s baby, and I can’t thank him enough for coming up with this ingenious idea, but I think every strip needs the little “Next Week (fill in the blank)", that is my only gripe. Some of the strips do have this little feature that gives it that true newspaper strip feel, without it, some of the strips just feel very odd. I like uniformity in my collections, what can I say, I'm a perfectionist. They are all quality reads, but darn it, I want my newspaper strips to feel like newspaper strips in every way! I’m such a nit-picker, I know. I really shouldn’t bitch because DC is the only major comic publisher to have the balls to make anything even close to this project. That is really the only thing I have to complain about anyway. I really should just applaud Mark, since I can only imagine the nightmare this project had to be to put together, don't mind me and my minor complaint.

So pick up this first issue for a truly wonderful old-school read! My favorite strips: Kamandi (I think this may be my ultimate fav in this issue), Deadman, Supergirl (I’m a sucker for Streaky!), Flash (with the special Iris West co-feature that kicks ass) and the odd combo of The Demon with Catwoman. I have to say my least favorites are: Wonder Woman (not sure what that was, I wanted something more “classic”) and Superman (rather ho-hum, seems like a regular Superman comic, but just one page of it). The other stories are still entertaining, but I will have to read more strips to judge if I will say “yay” or “nay” for the rest of the strips. Whose art is best suited for this type of storytelling? Well imo, I say the fun-loving Amanda Conner art is a thumbs up for sure, the highly-detailed Prince Valiant inspired Ryan Sook art is another clear winner, and Brendan Fletcher’s classic strip style are my three favorites. I applaud DC and editor Mark Chiarello for bringing this visionary project to fruition.

I encourage you to try at least issue one to see what all the hubbub is about. Wednesday Comics isn’t necessarily for all comic fans, but it is certainly for all the comic fans that want to stretch their expectations of what a comic is or can be.

David Lloyd Signing at Amazing Fantasy!



I can finally give all the juicy details about the David Lloyd signing at the shops! The one and only David Lloyd, artist and co-creator of the best-selling, critically-acclaimed V for Vendetta will be at the Frankfort and Calumet City locations on
Saturday August 1st!!

ONE DAY ONLY!

11am-2pm
20523 S. La Grange Rd.
Frankfort IL
815-469-5092

4pm-6pm
582 Torrence Ave.
Calumet City, IL
708-891-2260


David Lloyd has also created the gritty noir thriller, Kickback, published by Dark Horse Comics. We will have plenty of copies of Kickback and V for Vendetta on hand.
David will be signing and chatting at both locations of course and as a SPECIAL bonus, he will do one FREE sketch inside either your copy of Kickback or V for Vendetta that you purchase at the shop. David also was the artist on Hellblazer, and The Territory, along with many other covers for both Marvel and DC over the years. We here at the shop are just THRILLED beyond thrilled that he has made time in his busy schedule to come out to our shops! David hails from England, and isn't in the States that often, so take advantage of this rare opportunity!
DO NOT MISS THIS, you will kick yourself if you do!!